ACT teaches mindfulness skills and helps you clarify your values – then together we can use that knowledge to guide you to change your life for the better.
Mindfulness is a “hot topic” in Western psychology right now – increasingly recognised as a powerful therapeutic intervention for everything from work stress to depression – and also as an effective tool for increasing emotional intelligence. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a powerful mindfulness-based therapy (and coaching model).
Mindfulness is a mental state of awareness, focus and openness – which allows you to engage fully in what you are doing at any moment. Our Counselling services offer the chance to develop your mindfulness skills.
In a state of mindfulness, difficult thoughts and feelings have much less impact and influence over you – so it is hugely useful for everything from full-blown psychiatric illness to enhancing athletic or business performance.
ACT breaks mindfulness skills down into 3 categories:
- Defusion: We realise that we are not our thoughts. We create distance from unhelpful thoughts, beliefs and memories. This enables us to recognize that we have far greater choices in our behaviour than we might have thought.
- Acceptance: By making room for painful feelings, urges and sensations, we create space for presence and this then becomes an opportunity to see what purpose these difficulties serve and the gift they offer.
- Contact with the present moment: By fully “being with” your experience, with an attitude of openness and curiosity a feeling of peace is generated no matter what your external circumstances.
These 3 skills used together facilitate the development of emotional awareness and attention. In ACT, it is called the ‘observing self’. By defusion we are able to notice the thoughts but also to notice that they are just thoughts. The ‘observing self’ is the part of you that is able to observe both your physical self and your thinking self. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a mindfulness-based, values-oriented behavioural therapy, that has many parallels to Buddhism, yet is not religious in any way; it is a modern scientific approach, firmly based on cutting-edge research into human behavioural psychology.